Pivot Point 2014

New Year’s day.  Heading into year three at UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication as dean and finding I should start the year with questions.  Journalism is at a pivot point.  The accumulation of bad news makes it clear that what has been will not be the future.  News will exist.  Journalism will exist.  But so will branded content.

My colleague Nick Lemann, the dean Emeritus at Columbia University,  points out the powerful questions that face journalism educators and those of us who care about a profession that protects democracy, pursues the truth. and asks uncomfortable questions.   Nick writes with ease and insight as he reviews a new book by the British journalist and current educator George Brock.  It’s worth sharing.

That brand of inquiry that we called American journalism will continue but much diminished.


The western brand of inquiry that we call American journalism will continue I believe, but much diminished.

In the mean time, we deans will prepare strong writers to explain the world, science, politics, the economy and the arts to those who are not experts.  How and where and for whom will be different .

I look forward to reading George ‘s book.  Some of our top UNC journalism  students head to his City University each semester to drink deep at the British model.

2014 is certain to be a year of hard questions for anyone who cares about he future of journalism,  strategic communications and information.  Here we go!


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